This Week in Prayer, Service & Community - May 12, 2017

Dear All:

Christ’s Peace!

NB – There is a 6 pm Mass this Sunday, Mother’s Day. It will be very low key. And speaking of calnendar issues, do you already have next Friday’s Pasta Night and Wine Tasting on your calendar? (See below.)

This Week in Prayer

Formative experiences frequently generate influential desires. We see a pro sink astonishing three-pointers and we want to imitate her. We hear beautiful music and feel a longing to create beautiful music. We meet people in marvelous relationships and we crave similar connections. Life’s adventures generate countless desires. Many of them determine our choices and lead us closer to Christ.

Other desires come directly from God. God places them in our hearts. The readings on the Second Sunday of Easter reminded us that each of us has a God-given desire to participate in (rather than merely observe) God’s love and in the life of the church. The Third Sunday of Easter highlighted our God-given desire to understand Jesus more (rather than simply watch Jesus), that we may love and serve Him more and feel His peace more profoundly. Last Sunday, the Fourth Sunday of Easter, the readings underscored our desire to discern God’s hopes (rather than just reach a conclusion); we want to recognize Jesus’ voice, make it our organizing principle, go where it suggests, and do what it says.

Peter’s heated speech in Acts 2 challenges his listeners to admit their mistake. They heard Jesus’ voice, had the chance to cooperate with Him, and chose not to cooperate. They chose instead to kill Him. Mistakes notwithstanding, Peter reminds the people it is never too late to choose Jesus. When his listeners ask “what should we do,” Peter basically replies, “start listening to Jesus.”

The Gospel passage from John 10 gives us good news; we have what it takes to recognize Jesus’ voice and to follow. Sunday’s portion of the Good Shepherd discourse describes an ideal world and an ideal church in which “He walks ahead of them, and the sheep follow Him, because they recognize His voice,” but it is a world we can help create. God gives us the desire to follow Christ the Good Shepherd to verdant, peaceful pastures. God also enables us to discern His voice in the din. Like Peter’s people, we sometimes follow wrong voices but we can always start over, try again, and honor the inspired voice.

What about you? When have your choices fulfilled the readings’ hopes? In what moments of your life have you deliberately honored your God-given desire to discern, tried to figure out which course of action Jesus was asking you to undertake, and then taken it? When have you explicitly wanted to make the choice that Jesus wanted you to make, done so, and then felt the peace that pursuit of the inspired path provides? And where might you be able to ask the discernment question even more profoundly these days? What choices are you making these days? About your job, your schools, your relationships, your family’s location, your summer plans, your sports and your recreation? Are you trying to discern or simply trying to make a good choice? In what choices might you try to listen even more attentively to the voice of the Good Shepherd trying to point you toward the deepest possible peace?

  • Great thanks and congratulations to 42 “kids” who made their First Communions last Sunday. You folks are a great inspiration to all of us. The whole parish thanks you, your families and your CCD teachers for giving the church such a bright future, one in which friendship with Jesus truly matters.

  • The 2018 Mass book is now open. We are still working on arranging multiple intentions for Tuesdays and for Sundays at 9:30. We are also awaiting further instructions about how to arrange Masses in the missions. Meanwhile, if you want to arrange a Mass intention, stop by the office!

  • Great work Ira Sherman. Ira, who was baptized here at the Easter Vigil, gave a very fine talk at the Neophyte Mass. He described his faith journey . . . and urged the bishop to pray for the Eagles.

  • Listen to this week's readings and homily
  • Read last Sunday's readings 
  • Read the coming Sunday's readings 

This week in service:

  • The apostolic energy emanating from the parish hall this week is a wonder to behold. Over 60 parishioners, younger and older, have been giving themselves to hosting the four IHN families we have the privilege to serve this week. The four families – including four moms and nine children under the age of nine – have been feeling the kindness of the dozens of parishioners who have been cooking, sharing dinner, playing with the children and staying overnight. It has been a beautiful week in countless ways.

  • Thank you and more thank you to Ann and Josh Riding for washing all the servers’ albs

This week in community:

  • THE PARISH COOK BOOKS are here. Be sure to pick up yours this weekend. We are selling the books for $5.00 each.  Everyone who contributed one or more recipes should take a free copy.  Every household should also take one home, for free or for a donation of $5 if the spirit moves you. Lets just try to get one copy into every parishioner’s kitchen. Major thanks to Kate Shaughnessy and Joanne Gagliardi for the extensive labor of love it took to get the book from concept to print. And thanks to all who contributed recipes.

  • Pasta Dinner next Friday, May 19 will feature many Italian delights prepared by our Knights of Columbus. New for 2017, Petrock’s Liquors will feature a wine tasting table for you to sample some delicious wines. This promises to be a night of excellent food and drink and fellowship for adults.

  • Thanks to all who joined their fellow parishioners at Comedy Night. It was an evening of fine food, terrific laughs and great fellowship. Enormous thanks to the many people who organized it.

  • Have you already signed up for the St. Joe’s leg of the Hillsborough Triple Crown of 5ks – “I Run Hillsborough". Invite your running friends and relatives to run Hillsborough and feel the holy burn. 

  • Be sure to check out the signup sheets in the gathering space for the Patriots Ministry

Great blessings for all who celebrate Mother’s Day in any way and best Easter blessings for all.

Fr Hank.